Team Costhetics was discussing the merits of the different seasons recently.
Everyone had their favourite, but one staffer was adamantly against winter. Those of us who have a passion for winter’s wonders thought she was crazy. When she explained some of her reasoning, however, we decided what she was saying made sense.
Vitamin D Levels Drop in Winter
Dermatologists and skincare experts often see an uptick of clients during cold weather. In the winter, skies tend to be greyer, and temperatures tend to be lower, keeping many of us tucked up inside and out of the sun. The culprit is a Vitamin D deficiency, which causes dry skin and often a flare-up of eczema or psoriasis.
Without sunlight, our bodies are unable to manufacture Vitamin D, a key nutrient that can help prevent skin ageing. The situation is more difficult for older people who have “less ability to synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight,” reports The Insider in an article on this topic. A simple blood test will confirm whether your levels are low. If they are, oral supplements are readily available. Experts recommend 600IU daily.
It’s Dry When It’s Cold
When the mercury drops outdoors, people frequently crank up the heat at home, at work, in the car, and just about everywhere they go. The hot, dry air literally leaches moisture from the upper layers of your skin in a process known as transepidermal water loss.
Moisture is essential to skin elasticity and firmness. When skin loses moisture, wrinkles are emphasised and top layers of skin become flaky and itchy. Dry air may even increase your risk of developing psoriasis or experiencing an eczema flare. A change in your skincare routine is definitely in order and you may find a richer moisturiser is necessary to combat the dryness. Another good idea is to exfoliate in the evening. Your exposure to cold air all day will leave your skin covered in dead cells. Buff them away … but gently!
Your Blood Is Busy Elsewhere
Keeping your internal organs warm and functioning is your body’s top priority when winter rolls around. To do that, your body prioritises oxygenating your vitals including your heart, liver, lungs, etc. This leaves your skin out in the cold, literally. That’s surprising since the skin is the largest organ in the body!
Oxygen is what it’s all about. Blood without enough oxygen tends to appear bluer, which can cause dark circles around the eyes to look even darker. Reduced circulation can even compromise kidney function, leading to puffy eyes and under-eye bags. Poor circulation can also induce sweating, which clogs pores and causes pimples. Fortunately, increasing circulation for skin health is easier than you may think. As well as exercise, you can administer a restorative massage to get your blood flowing.
Costhetics wants you to love the skin you’re in. If you need help to find a skincare expert in your area, we can help. Contact us today to hone your winter skin survival skills.